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  1. #1
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    Question Am I wasting my time?

    Here's my dilemma.

    I graduated last year with a degree in graphic design and realized I didn't want to pursue it as a career. It's hard to describe how much I detest it: it's mind-numbing, soul-crushing work that is overly demanding for such low stability and meager personal and financial reward. I always knew it wasn't right for me; but not knowing what else to major in, I stuck with it to the very end hoping I would develop a love for it. Unfortunately it did not happen. After finishing an internship earlier this year I decided to take some time off to volunteer as a way to 'find myself' while looking for a job unrelated to design on the side. Well it has been 5-6 months since then and it has proven to be very difficult to find a job with a degree I no longer wish to put to use. I am pretty much unqualified for everything.

    I have an interest in psychology and education but I have no desire to become a teacher in a traditional classroom setting. I thought about pursuing educational psychology and human development but those jobs are scarce from what I understand. If I decide to go back to school to take a few courses (which means I would have to start next year since its a little too late to enrol in the 101 courses now), there is no guarantee that I will still wish to pursue that avenue. Even if I did go through with it and end up getting a masters degree, I might not have a job at the end - meaning lots of time and money wasted. At 24, I feel like I should have achieved more in my life: I have almost no work experience, no job/career... with only an indefinite idea of what I want to do.

    To sum it up: I'm lost, confused and don't know what to do now. I know I shouldn't compare myself with others but I can't help but feel very behind my peers who have full-time jobs in the fields they enjoy.

    Help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    it sounds like you are talking about two different things here... how you are going to manage your present and future life, and figuring out what you want to do.

    doing what we're passionate about has a way of turning what we once called obstacles or impossibilities into challenges, and that makes them easier!

    my suggestion, write it out and separate the likes from the requirements and use this as a hierarchy for how to spend your time.

  3. #3
    Member ilovetrannies's Avatar
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    Dude, I think you need to gain some perspectives, is graphic design, really that "soul-crushing." And I seriously doubt, that it pays minimum wage.

    And you are not the only to have to change majors more than once, I'd go back to school if you must be happy but all jobs suck, every fucking job sucks. Just warning you.

  4. #4
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Have you thought about having a family?

    Often, what we do to make money isn't where we find the most meaning in life. For most people, their jobs are little more than tent-making, or a skill that they use to fill a need in the market so that they can earn enough money to pursue what is truly valuable to them. (For most people, in the earlier part of life, this is family.)

    Is graphic design that bad? Can you use it to make enough money to free enough of your time to enable you to pursue a talent you love that may not be valued in the market?

  5. #5
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    A graphics designer. Nice! Actually, I'm going to take graphics design as a second major. You have a good advantage for being a graphics designer.
    What I mean is that you can work independently.
    You can make a profitable website
    Sell your designs to:
    -companies
    -average people who may need them

    You can make templates for them or just sell some artwork
    There are eons of possibilities for graphics designers.

    If you really don't want to work that way then I'd suggest to get a degree in something similar that you like that graphics design may boost you up in. It'll be easier to get a job that way. If you get a degree in psychology you can move into color psychology.
    Color Psychology and Graphic Design

  6. #6
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstjudge View Post
    To sum it up: I'm lost, confused and don't know what to do now. I know I shouldn't compare myself with others but I can't help but feel very behind my peers who have full-time jobs in the fields they enjoy.

    Help.
    I personall think N's take time to grow into their N's so try and not compare yourself.. it's not a contest...

    You have creative aptitude and many of the issues you face as similar to anyone who graduated with an arty degree.

    I think you need to contemplate what you want from your career... are you looking for something emotionally very fullfilling - such as development of kids with learnign difficulties or within the caring profession (which often means not earning as much as your intellect could let you in other feilds)...

    Or do you want something that is very intellectually challenging

    Or do you want to make a lot of money and retire at 40

    Or are you filling in time before having a family

    etc etc....

    Once you can establish big picture direction it will get easier to start moving in that direction.... narrowing the field down...

    Don't stress out too much - my best mate INTJ - stuggled after graduation because she felt her decisions were for life (instead of being a 2 year job)... she was concerned she lagged behnd.. she now makes a fortune in a job she enjoys.

    Be gentler with yourself and realise you have around c.40 years of work to do, giving yourself slack right now isn't gonna kill you... if you are five year in start worrying...

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for your replies. I really appreciate it.

    Dude, I think you need to gain some perspectives, is graphic design, really that "soul-crushing." And I seriously doubt, that it pays minimum wage.
    I think a lot of people who don't know much about the industry have a false notion of what graphic design entails - I know I did. It is usually not fun, or even creative. Much of the work you make will look derivative and you have very little creative autonomy. If you are an artist who feels strongly about expressing something personal, genuine and authentic through your work, it can be soul-crushing. This is an industry where you are in constant competition against others, compensated with low pay relative to the amount of hours and demands you have to put up with, left watching your talents go to waste on ads and other ephemeral marketing material you care nothing for until at the end of the day you have no time, energy and creativity left for anything else. Many don't last in this industry and experience burn out if they don't love what they do. There are many other things I don't want to get into...

    I've decided to work towards a writing certificate instead of pursuing psychology. I don't know what will come out of it but at least it'll help me branch out of design. I kind of like writing and I'm not too attached to it as I am with my art. Besides, the thought of doing another bachelor seems nauseating at the moment. I don't care about money, or even 'the best job in the world'; I just want to do something that won't make me want to kill myself every morning, allow me to support myself financially, and will also spare me time for other interests. I have no plans to start a family so that's definitely not an issue.

    are you looking for something emotionally very fullfilling - such as development of kids with learnign difficulties
    That is the kind of work I find very rewarding. I'm actually doing volunteer work in this area. Tinkerbell, do you mind my asking what your friend is doing now? I'm just curious to know.

  8. #8
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Have you thought about having a family?
    This is horrible advice for someone fresh out of college.







    Relax, very few people find what they want to do immediately after college. Just enjoy figuring out what your path is.

  9. #9
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    This is horrible advice for someone fresh out of college.

  10. #10
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    I know how it feels- graphic designing being soul-crushing and all.. I think what we study in school is way different when it comes to the application of graphic designing in the industry. It was a totally different experience for me also. I can totally relate.

    Have you thought about taking a few assessments other than perhaps kiersey, Mbti? I highly recommend:

    1. Holland Code Test
    2. Interests (Toggle the last 2 results under the menu once you select your first interest of choice).

    Do the research from there. Hope this helps! Best of luck.

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